Outstanding performances highlight 38th Gibson RelaysSunday, February 23, 2014
BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
CALABAR High School produced some scintillating performances at the 38th staging of the Gibson Relays in breaking the Class One and Class Three 4x100m relay records, while Kingston College responded by smashing the Class Two record in what could be a prelude of what is to come at next month’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships yesterday.
Calabar, with World Youth 200m champion Michael O’Hara anchoring, sped to a magnificent 39.61 seconds, erasing their old mark of 39.95 done in 2009.
The expected challenge by KC never materialised with news filtering through that star sprinter Zharnel Hughes was injured and the famed ‘Purples’ eventually messed up the final exchange and failed to finish.
But by then, the elegant, high knee-lifting O’Hara and Calabar were out of sight. St Jago World Youth 400m champion Martin Manley showed that his 10.42sec run at the Camperdown Classic was no fluke, carrying St Jago to second in a pretty good 39.99 seconds.
The outstanding Akeem Bloomfield and Jevaughn Matherson responded for KC and lowered the Class Two record of 40.76sec done by JC in 2012 to 40.65 seconds.
The packed stadium, similar to that on Champs’ final night, was left a little disappointed as it had hoped to witness history as the North Street boys were expected to be the first Class Two team to run under 40 seconds.
Their baton changes weren’t the best, but they are a cut above the class and were never challenged. Calabar were second a long way back in 41.63 seconds.
The much-vaunted Class Three Calabar team, with leadoff man Tyreke Wilson and anchored by the powerful Dejour Russell, dismantled the record they set in the heats earlier of 42.65 seconds to 41.83 seconds.
St Jago were a distant second in 43.51 seconds. Meanwhile, Daegu World 100m champion Yohan Blake anchored Racers Lions to a nippy 38.13 seconds in the 4x100m, and just outside their old mark of 38.08, done by a team which included Usain Bolt in 2010.
UTech were second in 38.52sec, ahead of Racers Track Club in 38.66. In the girls’ 4x100s, Edwin Allen captured three of the four finals.
They finally lowered Holmwood Technical’s seven-year-old Class One record of 44.53 seconds to 44.48 seconds. CARIFTA 100m champion Shauna Helps showed that she is back to her brilliant best with a sterling anchor-leg run to propel Wolmer’s Girls’ to the 4x100m Class Two title in 46.19 seconds.
Edwin Allen captured the Class Three and Class Four versions in 46.34 and 49.02 seconds, respectively. In fact, Class Three had two finals and Hydel won the four-team section two in 46.33 seconds.
Holmwood boys brought the house down after seeing off KC in the 4x800m championship event in 7:43.40 minutes.
In another epic battle, Edwin Allen got the better of arch-rival Holmwood Technical to win the 4x800m in 8:52.81 to 8:53.65 minutes. The promising Stephanie McPherson of MVP broke the 11-yearold record in the women’s 400m open with 51.23 seconds.
The previous record was 51.93 done by Indira Tererra in 2003. Up to press time, the 4x200s and the 4x400s were still left to be completed.